With the namesake in the building, members of the Neosho Area Business and Industrial Development Foundation Inc. (NABIFI) officially dedicated the new Hale McGinty Business Development Center during an open house event Friday afternoon.
The Hale McGinty Business Development Center will house the Neosho Chamber of Commerce and local economic development efforts. The building, located at 216 W. Spring St., which once housed operations for KBTN radio, opened Dec. 21.
“This is a great occasion, and we are just very pleased to occupy what we believe to be a great, great building,” said Ray Stipp, chairman of the NABIFI board of directors. “First, we would like to thank Branco for their outstanding contribution to help make this purchase of this building possible, along with another anonymous donor, and for the outstanding remodeling work that has been done. Thanks go to Signature Granite and Twin Oaks for the donation of the materials for the board table. It is a beautiful table.”
The building was purchased by NABIFI in 2008 and underwent a remodel last year. NABIFI records will be moved to a storage room inside the building.
A state-of-the-art boardroom outfitted with a SMARTBoard and seating for 24 will carry the Branco Enterprises Inc. name for its investment in the project as the contractor. The more than 4,000-square-feet building increases the space available for chamber and local business functions.
On Friday afternoon, McGinty and his three children, Steve, Marsha, and Sharon, took a personal tour of the new facility, and visited with members of the community who attended the open house. Visitors were welcome to tour the facility, which features office space for economic development, the chamber of commerce and also civic organizations that would like to use the building to house records or hold meetings.
“We are very proud of this building, and we are really pleased to be able to call it the Hale McGinty Business Development Center,” Stipp said. “Mr. McGinty is known by anyone who has any history with the city of Neosho.”
Hale McGinty was president of the Neosho school board for 18 years and chamber president for many years. He was the Neosho Area Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year in 1987. He began working at the family store in 1939 and was active in store management until 1991 with the exception of the 2 ½ years he served his country during World War II. McGinty’s Department Store was established by A.C. McGinty, Hale McGinty’s father, on the south side of the Neosho square in 1904. The family ran the store until 1991, although the family name stayed with the store until 2001.
“Hale ran an outstanding business,” Stipp said. “It was the heart and soul of retail in Neosho. Hale was a community leader. He was very active in the Neosho Area Chamber of Commerce, and a member of the tax advisory committee when the economic development tax was passed. He was always positive about Neosho. We could go through some difficult circumstances, but Hale could always find something positive to say about it, and was always optimistic about the future — something today I think we all need to take heed of.”
Page 2 of 2 - McGinty said he was humbled to have the building named in his honor.